Project DescriptionVideo Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCakJ7rzVio
Taking into consideration the particulars of time and place, we as architects today must engage in active conversations with communities. "Active Voice", our installation at the "Time Space Existence" Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale, is a snapshot of one such conversation. Our six-year dialogue with our clients, the Staten Island Community Charter School, produced a series of architectural projects that were integral to its creation in a community where 86 % of the families live below the poverty line.
Responding to the curatorial focus, “Reporting From the Front”, a three dimensional video architectural exploration seen through the lens of two neighborhood grandmothers who established the school is at the core of our exhibit. The installation is composed of an integrated video display on four planes, three walls and a horizontal platform, that together describe the ongoing collaborative design process that resulted in formal and informal learning spaces for the growing number of students.
The architectural task was multifaceted. It included an ongoing search for a site for a new building resulting in multiple investigations of possible parcels of open land as well as potential unused buildings, such as a manufacturing warehouse and an abandoned nunnery, which could be repurposed into a new school campus. Simultaneously yearly renovations and re-designs of the existing school classrooms and public space were part of the scope of work. The latest project is the design of adaptable, pre-fabricated, “classroom buildings” suitable for small or large group learning that are located within the existing school gymnasium. This series of incremental architectural projects together strive to create an inclusive educational public domain for the students, educators and community.